Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 29, 2013

Sunday lunch at a Tuscan vineyard

When most people think of Italy I’m sure one of the first things that comes to mind is a long table groaning with food under an ancient olive tree, or in a beautiful vineyard, with happy people eating and drinking into the late afternoon. This is just what we did on Sunday…and it was good.

Fattoria del Teso is in Montecarlo, near Lucca. As we drove into the lovely driveway we could see the hilltop centre of Montecarlo in the distance.



A flock of egrets decided to visit the vineyard at the same time as us.


The Montecarlo area has been known for vineyards and wine production since the time of the Romans. In fact it was called Vivinaia until 1333 when it was renamed. Fattoria del Teso has been spoken of since the middle ages, but since 1970 it has been extensively modernized and uses the latest techniques in grape growing and wine making.

The property is beautiful.




We were first taken to the cellars to try some of their excellent wines.




Here are Heather from Sapori-e-Saperi and Jim having a good look.

There is an amazing area in the cellars where lunch is served on summer days, when it just too hot to be outside.


As well as delicious red and white wine Fattoria del Teso produces Vin Santo, the heavenly dessert wine.


Their Vin Santo is made in a traditional way, taking 10 years to mature. We went upstairs to see how it was done. The grapes are first dried on cane racks.


The best grapes are then selected, pressed and the juice is put into barrels for 5 years.


Then the juice is carefully moved to smaller barrels, leaving the sediment behind. The new barrels are completely sealed and the maturing wine sits for another 5 years.




Here in the lovely rooms grape juice slowly becomes Vin Santo.


The barrels are sealed as they sometimes explode…look at the ceiling.


I’m sure having this gorgeous window and view behind the barrels helps.



If it had been a fine day instead of one of the wet days we have been having for months, we would have had lunch near the vineyard.



Instead we walked from the cellars to a prepared area outside.




This was the view from my seat.


The entire wall of the building is covered in wisteria. As you can imagine, the smell was divine.

Now, to the food. We had antipasti, ribs with olives grown on the property, sausages with white beans special to the area, new potatoes and porchetta.









Of course we had to try the Vin Santo, which is traditionally served with cantucci.




If you are staying in Lucca, take the time to visit Fattoria del Teso.  Look on their website for details,, or telephone to make an appointment. 0039 347 6416099 and speak to the delightful Samanta Giannini.

As usual, I took far too many photos. Here are a few more.




  1. The first picture looks like a painting! And that wisteria covered outdoor dining space looks divine 😀

    • It was a fairly dull day. It would look even better with the sun shining.

  2. Photographs are amazing.The food on the large tables are so tempting,I feel like flying out there and tasting some of the delicious food.

    • We had a wonderful day at the vineyard, you should fly over.

  3. Love this post. What a beautiful place – thank you for sharing it with the rest of us! A new place to buy my Montecarlo Rosso. We’ll definitely be booking for lunch and a tour during the summer holidays.

    • Their wines are very good, you will love it there.

  4. Even on a bleak day the winery looks beautiful. Another outing to add to our list.

    • It is not very far away and the town of Montecarlo is lovely too.

  5. Oh Italy, how I love thee! Lovely photos Debra 🙂

    • There is lots to love in Italy. You will be back soon.

    • I feel the same 🙂

  6. Definitely my kind of event …. so it’s on the list for next time. For an event like this one, what’s the approximate cost?

    • The cost was €30 each, which we thought was excellent value.

      • The fare seems fair.

  7. How heavenly that looks. The Wisteria is so beautiful. Eating and drinking in such a setting, it just has to be good for your soul, your psyche and everything else we humans carry around in our baggage.

    • I thought it was worth it for the wisteria alone.

  8. The place and the food looks superb. I love Vin San to and I used to serve it as a dessert with “cantucci”, although nowadays I serve it with slices of “castagnaccio” according to my own recipe… which is richer than the standard one.

    • I like Vin Santo as well and would be very happy to try it with castagnaccio.

  9. wow the bella tavolata e che bel posto!

  10. I want to be you!

    • Come on over and we can have lunch together.

  11. ooh my god everything looks tempting but its so sad how i will always hear it in stories because from uganda to itary it will take mi a life time to get that money but with gods grace i will be there

    • I hope you make it one day.

      • yes i will since i have your prayers

  12. What a wonderful post. I want to be there. 🙂

    • It was a great day, you should come to Italy soon.

  13. Your posts make me hungry…for more!

    • We certainly had a delicious lunch.

  14. Wow great pictures. Looks like a bit of heaven on earth.

    • The vineyard is absolutely beautiful…and the food was great too.

    • The vineyard is absolutely beautiful…and the food was great too.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing Debra. My aunt and Uncle live in Montecarlo. Your beautiful photos fill my soul.

    • How lucky they are to live in Montecarlo. It was actually the very first town we stayed in when we first came to the area 10 years ago.

  16. Storybook beauty! Thank you for sharing, Debra. Hope you enjoy meeting Marijane and Jim when they arrive!

    • We will be meeting them on Wednesday.

  17. There is NO such thing as too many photos–not when it is of such beauty! 🙂

    • Fattoria del Teso is a beautiful place to spend some time.

  18. Beautiful wisteria photos!

    • I see that your wisteria is looking lovely right now.

  19. Wow – Would love to have been there for lunch. The pictures are beautiful!

    • It’s time for you to come back to Italy.

  20. Incredible but so absolutely typical and ‘normal’ at the same time. A great portrait of what Sundays are all about. Great work!

    • It is a pity not all Sundays can be devoted to eating lunch in vineyards.

  21. This we will have to try. We’ve not been to their vineyard YET!! LOL! The food also looks amazing…don’t think I could ever tire of the view…

    • Try to come at wisteria time. Weren’t you here around this time last year?

      • Yes, and it was lovely then! I really wish I could be there now, but work interfered with this year’s visit…soon!

      • I am here until the end of June. Let me know if you are coming before then.

  22. Having Sunday lunch at a Tuscan winery sounds divine – good food and wine and a gorgeous view.

    • It is certainly a treat to be in such a lovely place.

  23. Takes me back to the many meals I had with my Taste Travel group in Italian wineries.

    • Lunch at my sister’s winery in Victoria can also be great. They have a beautiful sandstone building with a very long table. It is wonderful in winter with the fires blazing. They make some of Australia’s best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

  24. heaven Debra. my idea of absolute heaven.

    • It was a great thing to do on a Sunday.

  25. How did you get so lucky to be invited to lunch?

    • The vineyard/winery is open to the public and you can pay to have lunch there. They will also pack a picnic lunch for you to take into the beautiful area beside the vineyard.

      • That is a wonderful thing for them to do!!! I wish they would do that here in California!

      • There are many wineries in Australia that do this. My sister has a beautiful vineyard and winery in Australia. They have some great events there. Perhaps you could start something near you.

      • If only I owned a vineyard!!! My dream come true 🙂

      • It does sound romantic and lovely, but there is also lots of hard work involved.

  26. Oh geez! I don’t know which is more beautiful, the food or the setting. Off subject, I have a couple of questions: 1- where are all the ugly electric wirings? Did the communes have the foresight to bury them? And 2- something I’ve wondered for decades,why are the bell towers separate from the church for many centuries? If you don’t know I’ll be surprised. They all seem distinctive too. Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to identify the villages by their towers?

    • I didn’t see any exposed wiring at the vineyard, but if you look carefully at the photo with Montecarlo in the distance you will see wires going across the centre of the photo. Possible explanations for separate belltowers are…tall towers tended to fall down so it was a good idea to keep them separate from the church…they were often built at a different time from the church…and keeping the tower a little distant from the church allowed them to use larger bells as the sound waves could damage the main building.

  27. It puts our Dutch food to shame, Debra. Except for the bread and cheese. We’re good at bread and cheese.

    • We had some great meals in Amsterdam and yes, the bread and cheese is excellent

  28. You can never take too many photos! Lovely post.

    • There were so many lovely things to see, I couldn’t help taking lots of photos.

  29. Another lovely photo journal, Debra. Ahh – those long lunches.

    • Lunch is such a beautiful setting makes everything taste better.

  30. Just perfect. So Italiano. Loved every bit of this post. Gorgeous photos. Fabulous setting

    • It was a fun day. I hope I can go back soon.

  31. debra the pictures are so lovely and they look new every time i look at them.omg my dream coutry itary

    • Italy has many good reasons to visit.

  32. How beautiful! I LOVE vin santo. This looks like a near-perfect day! Xcat

    • You would really love this Vin Santo! You should drop in a buy some.

  33. What a wonderful post Debra – I really felt as if I was there with you. You always manage to take us with you on your outings and really share the day with us – its a great skill that not many people can do as well. The wisteria is fantastic, and the pictures of the food made me hungry for Italy! 😀

    • Thank you for your lovely comment. There are lots of special days here in Italy.

  34. […] Debra’s post Sunday lunch at a Tuscan vineyard, began, “When most people think of Italy I’m sure one of the first things that comes to mind is […]

  35. Marvelous post Debra. Great wine, beautiful setting and fabulous food…..what more can one ask for? The wisteria seems to be vying for equal billing with the fabulous wines and winning 🙂

    • The wisteria was magnificent. I have about 3 flowers on my wisteria in Ponte a Serraglio. I am hoping to do better at Casa Debbio.

  36. […] Debra’s post Sunday lunch at a Tuscan vineyard, began, “When most people think of Italy I’m sure one of the first things that comes to mind is […]

  37. Oh my. I absolutely love it. The Rustic table, amazing food……sigh.

    • It was a delightful day at the vineyard and winery.

  38. […] Sunday lunch at a Tuscan vineyard ( […]

  39. If I sent it before; you can just enjoy it again. Oh swoon; how I would love to be there. Still would like to hear about Victor’s trip….

  40. Enjoyed your photos n commentary! Do you know what the cost for lunch n wine tasting in US Dollars ? We will be in Lucca area on a Sunday mid November this year and would Love to arrange to go to this winery.

    • I am not sure what it would cost in US dollars. Try sending them an email. It would be a good idea to book anyway.

  41. […] Last year we had Sunday lunch at the very beautiful Fattoria del Teso, a vineyard and winery near Monte Carlo. Here is a photographic reminder of the day. See the full post here. […]

  42. I cannot wait to have Sunday lunch here.

  43. that looks and sounds beyond the most perfect thing to do in Tuscany. Think I may have commented once before but would just love to do it sometime. The photos are magic Deb and especially love the ones with the Wisteria, so was it spring time or summer?

    • It was spring. Wisteria is usually about in April…a beautiful time of year.

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: